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Lie Down with Lions

Lie Down with Lions - US

In the Afghan mountains lies the Valley of Five Lions, a place of ancient legend. To it come two young aid workers and an American who has a message for the legendary guerrilla leader, Masud, who is wanted dead or alive by the Russians. Below, in the valley, a woman stumbles upon a terrifying treachery, leading to a chase across impassable mountains and a confrontation that echoes all our nightmares.

Ken’s view

I get a lot of letters about the love scene in this book. I suppose it is rather steamy. I worked for a year on a story, called Country Risk, that I never finished. It was about a group of Russians who take over a Western bank and attempt to manipulate a financial crisis. I did a lot of research and came up with a plot which my agent and my publishers liked.

As I began Chapter One, I started thinking about how people talk about Eye of the Needle and how they are on the edge of their seat, desperate to know what happens next. I realised nobody was ever going to feel that way about a what happens in a bank and I abandoned it. Instead, I came up with Lie Down with Lions, a story about two people escaping from Afghanistan over the Himalayas during the Afghan War. And as in Eye of the Needle, I put a woman at the centre of the story.

Listen to Ken’s view on Lie Down with Lions


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  • “A deadly romantic triangle, a clandestine mission with global stakes, an exotic location, a plot as gripping and ingenious as ‘Eye of the Needle’… engineered to perfection with breathless acceleration. I couldn’t put it down!” — Los Angeles Times
  • “Masterful… plot and counterplot, treachery, cunning and killing… keep you on edge every moment” — Associated Press

Published as

Lie Down with Lions by Ken Follett — William Morrow, New York 1986.
Les Lions du Panshir in French by Robert Laffont
Die Loewen in German by Lübbe
Un Letto di Leoni in Italian by Mondadori
El valle de los leones in Spanish by Random House Mondadori
Sporen naar de dood in Dutch by Uitgeverij Unieboek

Also published in many other languages, and available as an audiobook and as an ebook.